It always begs the question: What do you value as a gamer?

There is no doubt that Assassin's Creed Unity isn't as technically impressive as reported and in fact, some of the flaws are downright glaring for a supposed "next-gen" offering. Remember, this was designed specifically for the new consoles, and Ubisoft said it'd be "impossible" to put it on PS3 or Xbox 360.

And yet, the tech mishaps are obvious right from the start: Bad textures, diving framerate, pop-in, and I saw a dude walking in place…next to a third-floor window. Yeah, this isn't anywhere near as technically refined as it needed to be. Nobody is disputing that. Where the dispute lies is in how it affects the gameplay. In truth, if everyone is being honest, none of these have any impact whatsoever on the gameplay. The pop-in might cause a minor issue during a chase of some sort but it's exceedingly unlikely that even dropped frames will result in death as opposed to success.

What must be discovered is how much it affects your enjoyment. If you're a tech geek or an admitted graphics whore, you really won't be able to deal with it. You'll find it consistently disappointing and that's understandable. But not everyone will side with this viewpoint, as evidenced by certain reviews. For instance, while the game is only averaging about an 8 (based on Metacritic and GameRankings), there's a 10/10 from PlayStation LifeStyle and 9s from two European sites (JeuxActu and IGN Italia) and PSU. These reviews are markedly different from the reviews where the game got a 7 (like at GameSpot and Eurogamer).

What's interesting is that these different analyses clearly showcase the differences of the critics. What I mean is that the critics all saw the same thing, they all noted the same flaws (it's impossible to miss them), but they didn't all interpret these failings the same way. Some people care far more about the gameplay and the all-encompassing nature of the atmosphere. Their contention is basically this: If the developers improved everything that actually matters , from combat to basic maneuvering and platform control, and the world is more ambitious, more involving, and more historically amazing then ever before, why am I getting all worked up over the occasional stutter and muddy texture?

A game is broken when you keep encountering critical flaws in the gameplay that keep the adventure from functioning as it should. This includes crappy cameras, lame-brain AI, poor difficulty balancing, sucky collision detection, non-intuitive button layout, and unresponsive, overly finicky, or just plain goofy character control. Assassin's Creed Unity suffers from none of these issues, although the camera can be a small problem in cramped areas. It's really unfortunate that Ubisoft hyped the hell out of the game and didn't deliver on the technical side, and it's even more unfortunate because many critics tend to have a more technical-oriented approach to reviews.

It's really just a matter of how an open-world adventure is analyzed, and what matters most to the gamer.

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matt99
matt99
6 years ago

Excellently put, I've read a few reviews and have agreed about the technical shortcomings but I am still loving the game. Personally I'd give it an 8.9 simply because while I'm not too bothered by the technical stuff, I do notice it. But that's by no means a critical score, just a measure of how much I like the game.

Also as Ben has said time and time again, an average of 8 is still a great game worth playing.


Last edited by matt99 on 11/11/2014 9:31:49 PM

MRSUCCESS
MRSUCCESS
6 years ago

Businesses have a time-line and if the game is X percent ready without greatly affecting sales then it'll get shipped out and patched up later.

The franchise itself helps the sales but then again there's a level of expectations from critics and some highly critical gamers.

Nothing to go crazy about. If you enjoyed the series, you'll most likely enjoy this one.

Temjin001
Temjin001
6 years ago

Having not played the game I can't really say of course, but I do think constant bugs and problems do interfere with the enjoyment, or the ability to immerse yourself. Why? Because a game like AC is always reminding you what's not right between what it's doing and what reality would be doing, because the game is trying to simulate real locales and behavior.
I feel a game like AC, a game that thrives on immersion and feeling apart of the experience, is particularly affected from crazy wierd bugs. AC3 was terrible for it too. It improved a bit with ACIV. The review scores properly showed the distinction in polish if I recall. That and AC3 had a number of design consistency issues.

But hey, a 7 is still a good game right? =)
I've ruled out a purchase at this point. But Gamefly came in right in time with their $1 joining deal 😉


Last edited by Temjin001 on 11/11/2014 9:45:42 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
6 years ago

"constant bugs and problems"

That's a misrepresentation of Unity, no matter who says it or why. It implies that the experience itself suffers badly from the graphics issues, which means they also impact the gameplay.

For the most part, that isn't true at all.

Shams
Shams
6 years ago

Ben, I agree with you sometimes always 😉

Temjin001
Temjin001
6 years ago

Ben I hope you come out with a review that defies the Metacritic avg with a real high score. It seems like it's been a while.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
6 years ago

Been a while since I issued a high score, you mean?

Night_train80
Night_train80
6 years ago

I love this franchise and I was excited to dive into the next gen Unity, but I will say it sure doesn't feel next gen. It's a beautiful game, don't get me wrong, but I do feel a game hyped to be designed specifically to do more than any previous AC it makes those flaws that much more noticeable. I still look forward to getting deeper into the game and enjoying it, but I keep wondering when I'm really going to see the games that make me glad I have a PS4.

Jawknee
Jawknee
6 years ago

I miss the days when the biggest problem with a game was having to blow into the cartridge to get it to work again.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
6 years ago

Million thumbs up. Honestly regardless if it's a frame rate drop or a screen tear it should be scored with that in mind regardless of scope. Open world games shouldnt get a pass because of their size.


Last edited by bigrailer19 on 11/11/2014 10:12:00 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
6 years ago

I always thought it was cool when you ran the cart across the carpet it the game would then play with funny colors for awhile.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
6 years ago

Likewise having to push the reset button constantly on an NES to get things working again.

JackieBoy
JackieBoy
6 years ago

Do you also miss the times when you had to tinker 10 minutes with a car engine everytime before you could start it?
Time goes on, as well as technology.
You adopt to it or you got left behind.
Deal with it.

Underdog15
Underdog15
6 years ago

Totally miss the days when I had to crank the car's engine.

FAREEZ
FAREEZ
6 years ago

Seeing people play this game on youtube, its look ok and play like any ac game before…

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
6 years ago

Okay, but what about it makes it next gen? …Anybody?

The yearly schedule, however they dice up the work over time, is probably starting to show up in the game. I've seen great B level games crucified for less, so as a AAA entry AC better not have people walking on air and textures going in and out.

I value more than the technicals but c'mon, you can't show up to peoples shiny new PS4s bringing that kind of trashy programming.

Temjin001
Temjin001
6 years ago

amazingly detailed environments and huge crowds is what's next-gen about it.

I think the idea of what next-gen is supposed to be is off the mark. Reason being, we already came close to doing a lot of what developers could imagine during the last gen, from a design standpoint, and from the interface we're using. The PS4 essentially represents making the sky the limit. If it could be imagined, it can be created. Some ideas on PS3 couldn't quite happen. See Last Guardian for that. For the most part now and probably for some time yet, more power means more pixels and details. The ability to scale the quality with the scale of the hardware is a difficult task it would seem. Notice how the majority of the higher rated games this year were made with more conservative resources? This includes a number of indie games and classic formulas like Diablo.

I suspect Order 1886 may be the next one to the chopping block. It seems to me most games that lead with a strong graphical push just get hammered come release.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 11/11/2014 11:12:50 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
6 years ago

Depends on how those new physics and world building techniques come off to the eye while the hands control our interaction.

And I fundamentally disregard the idea that there aren't more places to go with this tech than better looking last gen games with more stuff in them. Gameplay has a long way to evolve yet in many places.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
6 years ago

The entire thing is next-gen. It offers more variety than just about any open-world game I've played and that includes GTAV. In this one, we can investigate murders, dive deeper into the Paris underground, and have a far more immersive atmosphere with way more NPCs, buildings you can enter, and improved movement and combat mechanics.

It's a step forward in every conceivable direction with the exception of the lack of technical stability. And the camera and control can be a little iffy at times, as usual. These needed to be refined and polished if it was going to be a masterpiece; as is, though, the sheer ambition of it makes it "next-gen" in my eyes.

sawao_yamanaka
sawao_yamanaka
6 years ago

I'm sorry, but having a bunch of AI doesn't make it next gen when the AI are as dumb as rocks. The touted an amazing AI and yet I see the same I have seen in all AC games. Nothing has changed besides the graphics. They could have put several less people and worked on good AI. Not AI that stands around while you are killing someone. This is just idiotic.

Underdog15
Underdog15
6 years ago

@Sawao
I'm sure they'll improve that over the years, but I do think you should try to appreciate just how much it takes to compute so many unique npcs on one screen. It takes a lot and/or efficient use of power.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
6 years ago

The AI is hardly great but to say it isn't any different than previous installments…now that's idiotic.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
6 years ago

@Ben, well okay then that answers my question. That does sound more next gen.

sawao_yamanaka
sawao_yamanaka
6 years ago

Except that's just it underdog. The AI is idiotic. Nothing has changed whether they have 100 or 5000 on screen. If the AI is dumber than a sack of potatoes what's the point? They said how great the AI is and how the react realistically. I have yet to see that, the AI seemed better in watch dogs and they had a few hundred on screen. I would rather have less AI cluttering up a screen with good AI then thousands upon thousands of them acting like ants following only one line of code :/. Ubisoft should be ashamed about the PR they have been spouting about revolutionary their AI is. It isn't at all.

Underdog15
Underdog15
6 years ago

You missed my point.

DemonNeno
DemonNeno
6 years ago

So the frame drops don't impact gameplay? I'm not being a smart ass; I'm sincerely asking.

AC as a whole is extremely dependent on stable frame rates. When I'm at 60fps and plunge 10+ fps, it ruins my life. All of the climbing, jumping, and chasing just demand a fine toothed control. That slip of frames really (REALLY) annoys me.


Last edited by DemonNeno on 11/11/2014 11:24:44 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
6 years ago

Good point, unless they only occur during cuts and such. That does happen in certain games.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
6 years ago

If 10 frames per second "ruins your life," that's pretty much your own issue.

I never have a problem.

Underdog15
Underdog15
6 years ago

I have had it in AC in the past while chasing someone (only seems to happen in memory sequences) where the frame rate will dip so suddenly that I screw up the control of my character. Part of me wonders if that's because cut scenes end in such a way that they thrust you into the action so quickly that the system doesn't have quite enough time to finish all it's computations.

DemonNeno
DemonNeno
6 years ago

I never said it's anyone else's issue?

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
6 years ago

I thought he meant it ruins his in-game life, lol. Like it's hard to survive when the game can't keep up with your fingers.

DemonNeno
DemonNeno
6 years ago

Lmao, jumping off of rooftops does that to you, ya know!

DemonNeno
DemonNeno
6 years ago

Underdog, I can't comment on the frame rate drops in Unity, but the environment always caused my frame drops during play on previous games. Climb up to a viewpoint and spin the camera around the assassin. It'll chop up on dense environments. Draw distance doesn't seem to cause it as much, but there are a few exceptions . black flag couldn't keep up with the trees, but it wasn't as bad on PS4 as it was with PC and XB1.

SaiyanSenpai
SaiyanSenpai
6 years ago

I don't understand how PlaystationLifestyle could give the game a 100. Technical aspects are the LEAST subjective part of a review, so whether those things bother you or not doesn't matter.

They exist so the review score needs to reflect that.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
6 years ago

That place is jacked up, they have some weird reviews.

SaiyanSenpai
SaiyanSenpai
6 years ago

Texture pop-in has always really bugged me. I remember the first AC had it pretty bad. It's very distracting.

Ather
Ather
6 years ago

Once upon a time, a square getting hit by a stick into another stick was super fun. Now, it's all about the graphics. If this isn't ruining the game play, it's fine. If all you care about are pretty pictures, you'll eventually reach a point where no graphic is good enough, and you'll find yourself quitting video games. Is that what you really want?

Ah Video game. The problem is too many now focus on the former, not the latter.

SASSYGIRL82
SASSYGIRL82
6 years ago

The problem is they scaled back the ps4 version to be the same as the xbone

JackieBoy
JackieBoy
6 years ago

Thank God I'm not AC fan, as I would be pissed if I would had to buy this unfinished, quickly rushed and poorly optimized product.
I only finished AC4 because of the pirate setting (PotC is one of my favorite movies).
I have to admit, I was looking forward to AC:U if it turs out well. But I'm not willing to give 71€ for this technical mess – maybe in few months, when everything will be patched (oh wait, there will be another AC title then). The fact that it comes out in competition with 3 other great titles doesn't help at all. One way or another – there have to be consequences.

matt99
matt99
6 years ago

It's not a technical mess, didn't you read what Ben wrote? Sure there are technical problems but they don't take away from the gameplay, I've put about 10 hours into the game already and none of the technical instabilities have cut into my enjoyment of the game and it most certainly isn't unfinished and rushed.

Underdog15
Underdog15
6 years ago

I'm not sure I've ever played a game without technical problems. That goes double for sandbox games.

As for competition with 3 other big titles, I think it's a non issue. They aren't competing with the same genre. For example, CoD is ultra-popular and considered the most popular game in the world, selling like 20 million copies across 2 consoles. There are 160+ million of those consoles sold. There's market share for every genre.


Last edited by Underdog15 on 11/12/2014 9:09:47 AM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
6 years ago

"unfinished, quickly rushed and poorly optimized product"

I'm amazed that people can make such statements without ever touching the product.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
6 years ago

They are releasing these games annually. Regardless of how long a team was actually working on the games, there's always that deadline they have to meet.

There is no doubt in my mind that if it was just an arbitrary day and they could indeed take more time these games would be higher quality.

smileys_007
smileys_007
6 years ago

Like Evil Within who has its own problems on the technical side but still enjoyed the game, I'll definitely buy AC Unity. I don't care if it gets a low rating because of its technical problems. AC games never disappoint me, and neither will Unity. ^_^

JackieBoy
JackieBoy
6 years ago

Of course you will buy it.
As well as million of other AC fans.
Which doesn't change the fact that it's a disgrace to release product in a state like this – unfinished, unoptimized pice of technical crap.

matt99
matt99
6 years ago

Jackieboy, have you played the game at all? or just jumped on the bandwagon of a million other idiots who constantly need to bash something? Because I've played the game and it's nothing like what you describe, the technical shortcomings haven't affected my enjoyment of the game.
What's a disgrace is bashing a studio's hard work without even trying the game.

JackieBoy
JackieBoy
6 years ago

I played it at my frinds house and saw enough mate. And object clipping, crowd pop-ups and drops to 18fps is NOT what I expected from nex-gen title in 2014. Clearly this game was rushed for X-mass sales.
But hey, at least the microtransactions are there, right?
Nonetheless, I'm glad that you enjoy it.


Last edited by JackieBoy on 11/12/2014 9:06:10 AM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
6 years ago

Nobody appreciates your attitude, JackieBoy. Stop making it sound like only idiots will enjoy the game. How you reacted to the game is not the be-all, end-all evaluation. In fact, it's the narrow-minded analysis that's not doing the industry any favors right now, as far as I'm concerned.

smileys: The outdated tech in The Evil Within had a significant impact on the gameplay itself and the entire experience as a whole. There's a very, very big difference.


Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 11/12/2014 12:01:29 PM

smileys_007
smileys_007
6 years ago

@Ben Dutka: I didn't feel the outdated tech on The Evil Within. I'd rather play an outdated tech but an enjoyable game rather than an updated tech game but with a boring gameplay. ^_^

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
6 years ago

The problems with The Evil Within were definitely the kind of thing that you can let go for the experience (one that wasn't supposed to be next gen). We saw this happen in the reviews of that game too, so it's a good analog.